Monthly Campouts

The troop plans a specific weekend campout for each month of the school year at the annual planning meeting held in August. These campouts are usually two days long. As discussed elsewhere, each family unit in the troop is responsible for participating in at least one of these campouts each year.

For a scout to be permitted to participate in a monthly campout, he must have attended at least two troop meetings, in uniform, during the period since the previous campout, and he must have a current Health and Medical Record on file.

Click here to see recaps of Past Campouts

Outdoor Code
As an American I will do my best to –
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation minded.

Departure and Arrival
For most campouts the scouts meet at Spring Creek Elementary on either Friday evening at 6:30pm or Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. to load equipment into the trailer and sign in for transportation in the adults’ vehicles. Departure time is either 7 PM or 7 AM. unless announced otherwise.

The scouts generally return to Spring Creek Elementary on Sunday between 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The scout is responsible for contacting parents when returning from campouts to arrange for pickup. The scouts unload their equipment and then clean the trailer and cars. When this is complete, the troop holds a formation to close the campout. The Scouts must be in their Class A uniform and are not to leave prior to being dismissed from this formation.

Medical Forms
No person under 21 years of age can go on any of the troop’s outdoor activities without a completed BSA Personal Health and Medical Record Part A & B unless accompanied by that person’s parent or legal guardian. A copy of this form is always carried by the Scoutmaster on these trips. See the Annual Health and Medical Records section for more information regarding medical forms.

The troop owns two equipment trailers that may go on outdoor activities. The Transportation Coordinator will make sure that each trailer is pulled by an appropriate vehicle and that there are enough seat belts and space for all participating scouts.

Rules for drivers are governed by the Boy Scouts of America and are detailed in the Tour Guide Book.

Adverse Weather
One of scouting’s objectives is for each scout to learn to take care of himself outdoors in all conditions. For this reason, campouts are scheduled throughout the fall, winter, spring, and summer camp is in June. The troop will go on campouts if it is possible to reach the campsite safely, and if the scouts will not be in danger while camping.

Camping Activities
Most campouts revolve around a particular activity. This may be strenuous, such as hiking, canoeing, backpacking and rappelling, or just active, which may include pioneering, orienteering, first aid, cooking and fishing. Nature study (plants, animals, astronomy) and free time for loafing are included too! Saturday night means a troop campfire featuring songs, skits, stories and jokes. A non-denominational worship service is provided.

Each patrol plans its menus, buys its food, and cooks and eats as a unit. Meals must be nutritious and balanced, as described in the cooking merit badge pamphlet and the Boy Scout Field Book. All of the food for the dinner meal is to be prepared from fresh, frozen or dried ingredients. Junk food and soft drinks are to be kept to a minimum. Lunches can be simpler meals such as sandwiches, soups, hot dogs, foil packs and so forth, depending on the planned activities. Saturday supper and Sunday breakfast is to be a cooked meal.

Costs and Buying
At the Troop meeting before the campout the patrols decide on the menus, how much food to buy depending on who is going camping and who will purchase the food. The kind of food and number of meals will determine the cost, but generally this will be $8-12 per scout.

Smart shopping is also one of the skills to be learned by the scouts. When the patrols go shopping, they should look for the best value to keep the food costs reasonable. Each scout is responsible for bringing his share of money to the departure for the campout on Saturday morning. This is an important life skill for everyone and everyone is responsible for his share so the one purchasing is not burdened by the additional cost of no-shows or tardy payers. Please keep this in mind and pay promptly and without reminder.

Cooking Fires
Most cooking will be done on Coleman gas-fueled stoves or charcoal fires. Charcoal fires are started with natural materials, never with liquid charcoal lighter. Each patrol has a Coleman stove which is used as a backup for those times when the weather prevents cooking over a charcoal fire. Stoves are assigned to a patrol and maintained by the Quartermaster. All scouts are taught fire safety and must observe all precautions, including clearing fire areas or using fire rings and never leaving a fire unattended. Matches must be carried only in special containers.

A scout is clean, so good health and sanitation practices must be observed while camping. There will be no alcoholic beverages at the campsite and no scout may use tobacco products on a campout. The patrol leaders are responsible for ensuring that their patrols follow these rules.

Dishes are cleaned after every meal. Each patrol will use warm, soapy water for washing dishes and clear, hot water containing bleach for rinsing. All food particles, grease and soot will be removed before dishes are returned to the chuck box.

Garbage and Trash
All patrol sites are to be kept clean at all times. Garbage and trash are to be placed in a garbage sack which is kept above the ground. No garbage is to be burned or buried. The sack is disposed of in trash cans near the campsite or brought back home.

Drinking Water
Most of the campsites the troop uses have potable water available. If not, the troop will carry water from home. If necessary, water will be purified on site through boiling or chemical treatment.

Most campsites the troop uses have either toilets or latrines. If these are not available, each scout will observe low impact camping techniques when disposing of waste.

Safety & Discipline
Adult Supervision
The troop will have at least two adults present at all times on campouts. If this is not possible, the troop stays home. Parents who go camping with the troop must remember that they are guests and must follow the same camp rules as the troop members.

Swimming and Boating
These activities are conducted using BSA plans developed for troop safety. Swimming is permitted only at specified times, under adult supervision, using the buddy system, in areas tested for safety. Boating is permitted only while using personal flotation devices, under the buddy system, within sight of the adults.

Lights Out
Hiking and camping are strenuous activities and require that the scouts have sufficient rest. For each campout times are posted for “lights out” and for “all quiet”. Patrol leaders check their patrols and the Scoutmaster checks the entire troop.

This should not be a problem if each scout is doing his best to live up to the Scout Oath and Law. If major problems do occur, the scouts can be brought before the Troop Leadership Council for action. In extreme cases where a scout has repeatedly failed to correct his actions, the Scoutmaster has the authority to direct the boy to hand over his scout badge, leave the campout or other activity, and remove himself from the troop.

Equipment Provided
Certain equipment is available for the troop as a whole, including first aid kit, axes, water coolers, storage cans, rope, poles, cooking grates and climbing and rappelling gear.

Other equipment is issued to the individual patrols who are then responsible for maintaining it and replacing lost or damaged components. All this equipment is color-coded or otherwise marked to identify the responsible patrol. These specific articles include tents, kitchen tarp, chuck box, saw, hatchet, lantern and Coleman stove. The chuck box contains cooking, serving and eating utensils and food staples which are replenished by the patrol as needed.

Personal Equipment Needed
Each scout will need most of the following camping equipment items. Official BSA equipment is usually of high quality, if somewhat more expensive. Not all the items are needed immediately, but can be accumulated over time (wait for sporting goods sales). In general, do not buy cheap gear, but do not buy the most expensive either. Put the scout’s name on everything.

Backpack – This item is needed soon after joining the troop. The external frame type is preferable for most of the activities this troop participates in and is less expensive than the internal frame type. It should be constructed of waterproof nylon, be of at least medium size (about 3000+ cubic inches) and consist of two or more central compartments and numerous side pockets.

Packs can be borrowed or rented inexpensively for the first few weekend campouts until a new scout has grown a little and decided which type he wants. Used packs are perfectly acceptable especially since a new pack does not stay looking new for long.

Sleeping bag – This item is needed soon after joining the troop. Get a medium quality bag rated to about 30-40 degrees. Warmer bags (10-20 degrees) are too hot for use most of the year. Get the stuff bag too.

Sleeping pad – A thin, closed-cell foam pad (about 2 by 5 feet by 3/8 inch) under the sleeping bag helps both for padding and providing a thermal barrier.

Ground cloth – Get a piece of heavy duty (4+ mil) construction plastic about 4 by 8 feet to place under the sleeping pad. This is also useful for covering equipment that must be left outside the tent.

Canteen – Some boys like the 2-quart round type, others prefer the 1-quart rectangular type that fits in many backpack pockets. Water bottles should have clearly marked measurements so that water intake can be accurately monitored.

Poncho – BSA model is good. Plastic raincoat is less functional.

Flashlight – Get a sturdy, waterproof and preferably floating model. The 2-cell AA size is good and the 2-cell C size is better. Carry an extra set of batteries.

Pocket knife – Inexpensive 2- or 3-blade scout-type knife. The scout may not use a knife until he has passed his “tot’n chip” requirements covering sharpening and safety. Sheath knives or large lockback-type knives are prohibited at scout activities.

Compass – Orienteering-type compass with movable rectangular lucite base. Liquid filled is better but costs more.

Hiking boots – Boots should provide ankle support and be fitted while wearing appropriate socks. Prefer lace up books at the top. Many scouts wear running shoes which are acceptable but much less comfortable than properly broken in boots for strenuous activities.

Cooking and eating utensils – A cook kit and knife, fork and spoon set are only needed when the scout or patrol goes on a hike or campout without the patrol chuck box.

Additional items – Liquid or stick insect repellent (no spray cans), scouring pad, liquid soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, toilet paper, two 30-gal. trash bags for trash and for covering pack if it rains, sun screen, matches in waterproof hard plastic or metal container, paraffin fire starters, Zip-Lock bags to store small items, spare clothing.

Prohibited Equipment
The scout may not bring flammable liquid (like fire starter or aerosol sprays), sheath knives, axes, firearms, archery equipment, fireworks, alcohol or tobacco products to any campout or other activity. A scout who violates this rule is subject to removal from the activity and, for repeated violations, to removal from the troop.

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